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Author ORCID Identifier



Open Access Dissertation

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD)

Degree Program


Year Degree Awarded


Month Degree Awarded


First Advisor

Thomas Moliterno

Second Advisor

Steven Floyd

Third Advisor

William Wooldridge

Fourth Advisor

Craig Wells

Subject Categories

Business Administration, Management, and Operations


Strategy scholars have exhibited interest in human capital, and in this dissertation, I follow recent work in this area to explore human capital from a multilevel perspective. In particular, I seek to answer the question of how the individual resources that are component to the unit-level human capital resource (HCR) and the collective capabilities that are characteristic of the HCR together impact performance through absorptive capacity. In examining the emergent HCR, with respect to human capital, social capital, and absorptive capacity, I seek to reconcile the tension between the preference for firm specific knowledge, skills, and abilities in prior human capital theory with the need for new and outside knowledge in absorptive capacity theory. The theoretical model that I motivate proposes that microfoundations of external social capital and depth and breadth of human capital are associated with collective internal social capital and potential absorptive capacity. Through examining those resources component to and characteristic of the emergent HCR, I explain how individual and unit-level resources relate to realized performance outcomes via absorptive capacity. This research takes a departure from the traditional view of human capital in strategy, as either firm-specific or general, by looking at depth and breadth of experience and incorporates an integrated view of human and social capital in exploring antecedents of absorptive capacity. I test my hypotheses on a sample of security analysts in investment banks.